‘No-touch’ heart bypass surgery reduces strokes

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no-touch heart bypass surgery cabg

Four surgical methods of coronary artery bypass grafting with increasing degrees of aortic manipulation. Percentages pictured represent the relative decrease in risk of perioperative stroke using anOPCABG compared to the other techniques. [Image from the researchers]

A recent study from the University of Sydney and Sydney Heart and Lung Surgeons has shown that a new “no-touch” beating heart bypass surgery technique has reduced post-operative stroke by 78%.

The procedure, known as an OPCABG, also reduced post-operative mortality by 50% compared to traditional coronary artery bypass grafting. It reduced renal failure by 53%, bleeding complications by 48% and atrial fibrillation by 34%. Intensive care unit stay was also reduced by 13.3 hours.

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is performed for ischemic heart disease, which is when fat and calcium build up in the arteries and causes reduced blood flow to the heart because of narrowing arteries.

CABG bypasses blockages with a graft and goes around blocked arteries to help create new pathways for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart. Traditionally, this procedure requires the heart to be stopped so that a clamp can be placed on the aorta of the heart.

The new no-touch procedure keeps the heart beating during the procedure with the use of a small stabilizer. Aortic manipulation is not needed in this procedure.

“This powerful analysis demonstrates the potential benefit, not only in the reduction of stroke, but also in mortality… [and] provides the most comprehensive and highest-quality evidence currently available [to] help inform decisions regarding the management of these patients,” said Michael P. Vallely, corresponding author of the study and cardiothoracic surgeon at Sydney Heart and Lung Surgeons, in a press release.

The study analyzed 37,720 patients who had undergone the new no-touch heart bypass surgery and was published online in the Feb. 28 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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